By Prince Golez
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and First Gen Corporation (First Gen) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA ) on Tuesday to assist local government units (LGUs) in mainstreaming climate change and gaining access to the People’s Survival Fund.
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert Borje and First Gen President and Chief Operating Officer Francis Giles Puno led the signing ceremony, the CCC said in a news release on Wednesday.
The partnership aims to enhance Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) including updated climate and disaster risk assessments and greenhouse gas inventories, as well as develop PSF project proposals.
Beneficiary LGUs are as follows:
-Naria Aurora, Aurora
-Pantabangan and Carrangalan in Nueva Ecija
-Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya
-Caramoan and Garchitorena in Camarines Sur
-Baungon, Impasug-ong, Libona, Manolo Fortich, and Talakag in Bukidnon; and
-Jabonga in Agusan del Norte.
As of January 19, 2023, 1,399 out of 1,715 LGUs (81.57%) had submitted their LCCAPs to the CCC. The Commission hopes to achieve 100 percent compliance by 2024 through partnerships and capacity-building initiatives.
This collaboration is part of the CCC and First Gen’s shared advocacy for increasing local community resilience to climate change and its impacts.
“Our LGUs, down to the barangays, are at the frontlines of climate change and its impacts. They need all the help they can get to have a fighting chance, but they also need transformation. We don’t want them to just adapt, we want them to thrive and grow, and this particular agreement—through formulation of eLCCAPs and capacitating them to access the PSF—will exactly do that,” said Borje.
For his part, Puno noted: “Our mission of forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future simply means that we cannot do it alone. Signing an agreement with the Climate Change Commission is completely aligned with what our company is trying to do, in addressing an important challenge that’s ahead of us – climate change.”
The CCC and First Gen will also strengthen initiatives involving key stakeholders to advance science- and evidence-based risk assessment and maintain climate-smart leadership and governance among the target beneficiaries.
“At the end of the day, we have to safeguard our national interests, which for us means, ‘Buhay, kabuhayan, at kinabukasan ang nakataya.’ That’s all we have to plan for, but it takes more than a village to do this. We need to work very closely together, and this partnership is key to making that happen,” the CCC chief stressed.
Also present during the MOA signing held at the Eugenio Lopez Center in Antipolo, Rizal were CCC Chief-of-Staff Atty. Carol Kay Paquera, First Gen Vice President and Chief-of-Staff Shirley Cruz, Vice President for Corporate Communications Ricky Carandang, and Vice President for External Affairs and Security Ramon Araneta.
Seedlings of Narra, Ipil, Banuyo and Supa trees were also planted at the BINHI Arboretum to kick-off the partnership.